Remote Insect Monitoring and the Use of Artificial Intelligence for Pest Control
Timely pest control is essential to avoid feeding damages on your fields and plants. With better understanding of insect phenology and their impact on plants as well as following the rules of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), application of insecticides could be optimized, which has positive effects on the environment and finally human health too.
»IPM is the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations. It combines biological, chemical, physical and crop specific (cultural) management strategies and practices to grow healthy crops and minimize the use of pesticides.« (Source: FAO)
THE AIM OF IPM
IPM plays a key role in sustainable agriculture. The aims are:
- Farm productivity and food availability increase, while pre- and post-harvest crop losses are reduced.
- The amount of pesticide residues in food, feed and fiber and environment is reduced.
- Income levels increase through reduced production costs related to lower pesticide use.
Monitoring of pest insects is the first action to be done following the IPM guidelines, aimed to know the actual situation in the field before taking an action. Our insect monitoring system empowers the farmer to make optimally-timed decisions.
iSCOUT MONITORING LOOP
We’ve created a remote insect monitoring solution which employs the 5 STEP iSCOUT MONITORING LOOP:
- iSCOUT Installation: iSCOUT insect trap properly installed for optimal insect detections.
- Insects fly into the trap: Camera takes high-resolution pictures of the sticky plate.
- FieldClimate analysis: Pictures are analyzed & results are displayed in the FieldClimate platform.
- Action based on data: Monitoring data (population level of the pest insect) supports the farmer to decide about plant protection activities.
- Maintenance/Cleaning of the iSCOUT: Farmer goes into the field ( in combination with the application of insecticides) and cleans the iSCOUT (changes the glueboard and lure/pheromone).
THE AI BEHIND PEST CONTROL
- Pictures of iSCOUTS are processed and analyzed by deep learning systems, which results in labelling of recognized insects.
- Every user sees the markings and has the possibility to adjust the common name of the insect or correct the labels.
- Data from stations is used for system improvements on regular basis – more stations in the field leads to more data which leads to higher precision.
iSCOUT IS THE WAY TO GO
- Accurate pest data – Data analysts cooperate with people, who have expertise in identification of agricultural pest insects.
- Population dynamic – Consecutive pictures are used for following the phenology (pick) of the insect.
- Preserving Biodiversity – We target every insect, not only pests, which makes the device useful for labeling and monitoring biodiversity too.
- Extensive data – High-speed system makes it possible to work with large volumes and robust data.
- Precise data – High-resolution pictures are transferred and used for analysis, so even small insects (limit 2mm) with specific characteristics are identified.
- Durability and sustainability – Longlasting equipment, which can be in the field for years and used for different pest insects.
Devices for remote monitoring support the growth of healthy crops with minimal impact to the environment and encourage mindful pest control. It all starts with sharing knowledge and spreading awareness. You can be a part of that as well, so feel free to share the article if you find it helpful.
Phytopathology and Entomology Lead